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Lets outsmart GIA clarity grades

Garry H (Cut Nut)

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One of the messages I send from time to time when people are looking for a say +2ct eyeclean SI2 diamond is give up and accept a stone something that has a visible but really hard to see. One that when the stone is on your hand, no one will be able to shout out to everyone in the office "OMG whats that yucky black thing in your new diamond?"

The reason is the graders have microscopes and are highly trained - especially those working on bigger more valuable goods.

So for the person who thinks they have a real bargain near flawless stone that is a lucky miss grade - look at this left side of an otherwise flawless at 10X VS2 diamond. The stone has clouds you can see under higher magnification, but not at 10X with a loupe which is the grading standard.

_37306.jpg
 

wildcat03

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Is this a stone that is a VS2 "Clarity based on clouds not shown" or is there a specific cloud that is the grade-setter with the other clouds (that create the hazy look) being too small to plot.

Would you advise not buying a diamond that is VS2 with clouds as the grade-setting inclusion or is this a case-by-case basis?
 

Karl_K

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wildcat03|1464222376|4036312 said:
Is this a stone that is a VS2 "Clarity based on clouds not shown" or is there a specific cloud that is the grade-setter with the other clouds (that create the hazy look) being too small to plot.

such stones will often but not always get the clouds not shown. I have heard of one sample that clouds was not mentioned on the report as the grade setters were feathers and a secondary crystal or 2. Only the most prominent and grade setters are listed on the report and if they are not visible at 10x they are not considered at all

Would you advise not buying a diamond that is VS2 with clouds as the grade-setting inclusion or is this a case-by-case basis?case by case with caution
 

pyramid

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Grade setting cloud is at 5 o' clock. The rest of diamond is flawless at 10x but not under higher magnification. So the clouds affecting the clarity on the left side are flawless at the 10x standard. Basically clouds can affect the look of a GIA graded flawless.
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

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Unfortunately I have had this image and some others on file for a long time and cant find the cert anymore.

But from experience if it was under a carat the Dossier report would probably state near the bottom Clarity Characteristics:..........Cloud, Twinning.
(There is a small grain line in the stone)
On a full cert I would expect the KEY TO SYMBOLS* Clouds, Twinning, but not draw the clouds. The graining would probably have a small line with 2 smaller crossing lines like a rail line on a map. Comments would say Clouds Not Shown.
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

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wildcat03|1464222376|4036312 said:
Is this a stone that is a VS2 "Clarity based on clouds not shown" or is there a specific cloud that is the grade-setter with the other clouds (that create the hazy look) being too small to plot.

Would you advise not buying a diamond that is VS2 with clouds as the grade-setting inclusion or is this a case-by-case basis?
If Clouds are #1 and there is little other mentions or marking - run away.
If Clouds were first of several marked inclusions then it might be worth looking at - or sending to an expert appraiser.
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

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Pyramid|1464224677|4036323 said:
Grade setting cloud is at 5 o' clock. The rest of diamond is flawless at 10x but not under higher magnification. So the clouds affecting the clarity on the left side are flawless at the 10x standard. Basically clouds can affect the look of a GIA graded flawless.
You are pointing to the honest buy me VS2 half Pyramid - the nice stone with life.
Nice crystals.
There is a tiny vertical grain on the left side in the pale blue pointing to the left central main.
I can not see any clouds and this is at least 10X on our compueter screens
 

diagem

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Unfortunately Garry there is a whole industry gaming this issue already for years. You're showing a VS2 example which is pretty rare when comparing to the "clean" material offered as SI's.
 

Rockdiamond

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DiaGem|1464286550|4036570 said:
Unfortunately Garry there is a whole industry gaming this issue already for years. You're showing a VS2 example which is pretty rare when comparing to the "clean" material offered as SI's.
I have to agree with Yoram on this one Garry.
I rarely see a VS2 which is sleepy due to imperfection- in fact I don't recall ever seeing one unless it was a SB with luster issues.

I totally agree that "gaming" the GIA clarity grading system is a very smart way to buy.
I've seen countless SI2 diamonds that were completely identical to flawless stones in terms of how much imperfection could be seen naked eye.
Of course in larger stones the percentage of eye clean SI2's goes down- but they are still out there.
 

pyramid

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Oh yes, so the crystals at 5 0'clock are only seen at plus 10x and therefore are not the grade setter which I thought was a cloud?


Garry H (Cut Nut)|1464236421|4036402 said:
Unfortunately I have had this image and some others on file for a long time and cant find the cert anymore.

But from experience if it was under a carat the Dossier report would probably state near the bottom Clarity Characteristics:..........Cloud, Twinning.
(There is a small grain line in the stone)
On a full cert I would expect the KEY TO SYMBOLS* Clouds, Twinning, but not draw the clouds. The graining would probably have a small line with 2 smaller crossing lines like a rail line on a map. Comments would say Clouds Not Shown.
 

pyramid

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Rockdiamond|1464288289|4036576 said:
DiaGem|1464286550|4036570 said:
Unfortunately Garry there is a whole industry gaming this issue already for years. You're showing a VS2 example which is pretty rare when comparing to the "clean" material offered as SI's.

I totally agree that "gaming" the GIA clarity grading system is a very smart way to buy.
I've seen countless SI2 diamonds that were completely identical to flawless stones in terms of how much imperfection could be seen naked eye.
Of course in larger stones the percentage of eye clean SI2's goes down- but they are still out there.

Smart way to buy for dealers but not consumers if they get a sleepy stone and don't know anything about it or wonder why it does not sparkle clearly!
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

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DiaGem|1464286550|4036570 said:
Unfortunately Garry there is a whole industry gaming this issue already for years. You're showing a VS2 example which is pretty rare when comparing to the "clean" material offered as SI's.
Hi Yoram, yes the industry is, but I am writting a warning to consumers and trying to alert prosumers to a trap that many online shoppers are 100 times more likely than the trade to fall into.
For example, I just searched +1ct rbc on a manufacturers site who grades transperancy and 18 of 350 stones had less than excellent transperancy (10 where fluoro related, 8 were clarity related but only one stone was lower than SI2).
My point being that since GIA use coded jargon that dealers understand but consumers do not - the idea that labs provide consumer confidence is a joke.
It is well known that online drop shipping has helped the trade by finding a back door to unload junk on unsuspecting consumer bargain hunters.
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

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Rockdiamond|1464288289|4036576 said:
DiaGem|1464286550|4036570 said:
Unfortunately Garry there is a whole industry gaming this issue already for years. You're showing a VS2 example which is pretty rare when comparing to the "clean" material offered as SI's.
I have to agree with Yoram on this one Garry.
I rarely see a VS2 which is sleepy due to imperfection- in fact I don't recall ever seeing one unless it was a SB with luster issues.

I totally agree that "gaming" the GIA clarity grading system is a very smart way to buy.
I've seen countless SI2 diamonds that were completely identical to flawless stones in terms of how much imperfection could be seen naked eye.
Of course in larger stones the percentage of eye clean SI2's goes down- but they are still out there.
David see my other post - its OK for smart dealers to game the system - but the point is consumers who try to game GIA will more often than not outsmart themselves and end up owning a woofer.
 

diagem

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Garry H (Cut Nut)|1464307307|4036685 said:
DiaGem|1464286550|4036570 said:
Unfortunately Garry there is a whole industry gaming this issue already for years. You're showing a VS2 example which is pretty rare when comparing to the "clean" material offered as SI's.
Hi Yoram, yes the industry is, but I am writting a warning to consumers and trying to alert prosumers to a trap that many online shoppers are 100 times more likely than the trade to fall into.
For example, I just searched +1ct rbc on a manufacturers site who grades transperancy and 18 of 350 stones had less than excellent transperancy (10 where fluoro related, 8 were clarity related but only one stone was lower than SI2).
My point being that since GIA use coded jargon that dealers understand but consumers do not - the idea that labs provide consumer confidence is a joke.
It is well known that online drop shipping has helped the trade by finding a back door to unload junk on unsuspecting consumer bargain hunters.
I fully agree with you on that and even remember participating in a thread on this subject a few years back. I keep reading about prosumers warning on this pretty regularly. I guess this warning lit up a light on PS and is being looked upon regurlarly.

Gaming the Labs...., I was shown a large Diamond yesterday that was graded a VVS (1 or 2) and possessed a KM treatment which was obvious and went un-noticed at the microscopic level. I am afraid that in turbulous times like now (some) industry professionals try all kinds of tricks to make things work instead of figuring out how to add genuine value to their products. It's no secret our industry is suffering from primitive thinking which translates into tricking the system.

BTW, did you hear the rumor about Mellier? ;-)
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

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DiaGem|1464328153|4036834 said:
Garry H (Cut Nut)|1464307307|4036685 said:
DiaGem|1464286550|4036570 said:
Unfortunately Garry there is a whole industry gaming this issue already for years. You're showing a VS2 example which is pretty rare when comparing to the "clean" material offered as SI's.
Hi Yoram, yes the industry is, but I am writting a warning to consumers and trying to alert prosumers to a trap that many online shoppers are 100 times more likely than the trade to fall into.
For example, I just searched +1ct rbc on a manufacturers site who grades transperancy and 18 of 350 stones had less than excellent transperancy (10 where fluoro related, 8 were clarity related but only one stone was lower than SI2).
My point being that since GIA use coded jargon that dealers understand but consumers do not - the idea that labs provide consumer confidence is a joke.
It is well known that online drop shipping has helped the trade by finding a back door to unload junk on unsuspecting consumer bargain hunters.
I fully agree with you on that and even remember participating in a thread on this subject a few years back. I keep reading about prosumers warning on this pretty regularly. I guess this warning lit up a light on PS and is being looked upon regurlarly.

Gaming the Labs...., I was shown a large Diamond yesterday that was graded a VVS (1 or 2) and possessed a KM treatment which was obvious and went un-noticed at the microscopic level. I am afraid that in turbulous times like now (some) industry professionals try all kinds of tricks to make things work instead of figuring out how to add genuine value to their products. It's no secret our industry is suffering from primitive thinking which translates into tricking the system.

BTW, did you hear the rumor about Mellier? ;-)
Mellier was pushed I guess?

Re gaming - I am trying to warn consumers not to game the system.
If there are such opportunities they are usually caught by dealers - its rare that a good buy virtual gets thru the net.
So Yoram, I think it's important not to suggest consumers can beat labs and the trade on clarity and color.
They surely can on cut though if they invest some time and effort
 

fofolala

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not adding anything to this conversation, really, but I'm seeing if you can make it relevant for the would-be sucker, like myself. I was actually writing about this earlier today: i want to beat the game. But as one-and-done single diamond consumer who wants to beat the system, I heed your warning.

So: any tips to avoid losing at the game? Should I give up hope, fall in line, and buy a brand-vetted ideal cut like A Cut Above or Hearts of Fire etc? Is there somewhere in the industry where diamonds value seem to routinely exceed the cost?

Thanks for making this relevant to the little guy.
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

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fofolala|1465534873|4042523 said:
not adding anything to this conversation, really, but I'm seeing if you can make it relevant for the would-be sucker, like myself. I was actually writing about this earlier today: i want to beat the game. But as one-and-done single diamond consumer who wants to beat the system, I heed your warning.

So: any tips to avoid losing at the game? Should I give up hope, fall in line, and buy a brand-vetted ideal cut like A Cut Above or Hearts of Fire etc? Is there somewhere in the industry where diamonds value seem to routinely exceed the cost?

Thanks for making this relevant to the little guy.
It depends on you as much as the diamond F.
Is near enough good enough?
does the word X CARATs mean more then the look and sparkle?
Is 'mind clean' important?
Do you have parents of yours or the other who will want to know grades and look with a loupe?

Brands are super safe.
Selecting a range of stones and shipping them to an appraiser will add some shipping costs to your bill but give you an advantage - there are some great eyes like Neil and Dave et al - there is a section to find them. Can help having them sent to an apppraiser near you too.
Telling the forum people here what your standards are and getting their help is also a great option because there are some people here who know more than most diamond dealers who care more about what the cert says than how the ice looks
 

fofolala

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Faaaair enough. I thought maybe you had a secret answer :)

for what it's worth:
Is near enough good enough?
yes
does the word X CARATs mean more then the look and sparkle?
no, but big (faceup appearance) is nice
Is 'mind clean' important?
not at all
Do you have parents of yours or the other who will want to know grades and look with a loupe?
nope!

Telling the forum people here what your standards are and getting their help is also a great option because there are some people here who know more than most diamond dealers who care more about what the cert says than how the ice looks
forum folks have been exceptionally helpful and kind in the face of my ignorance.

Selecting a range of stones and shipping them to an appraiser will add some shipping costs to your bill but give you an advantage
selecting from whom? I can't front 100k for ten 10k stones.


Thank you for taking the time to answer my question!
 

Sunstorm

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People can get lucky but this is generally not at the consumer level. Well, dealers can be consumers too so then yes. I do believe most of us have at least one story where we beat the game but this does not apply to consumers who will generally just get ripped off. Even when we beat the game, it depends on luck a lot which you cannot force. Consumers can rarely get lucky, I guess that an educated and trained consumer can get lucky but this is a very rare case, such as one might find a diamond ring at a flea market sold as zirc but chances of this happening are slim to none. I think we generally try to advise customers not to think they can outplay the system because in diamonds there is generally no such thing as a great deal. You get what you pay for, then again, there are of course variations within that. You can get an amazing diamond as a consumer at a decent price but you will not get a bargain. If it was that easy, everyone on this forum would be dirty rich by now.
 

Wink

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Garry H (Cut Nut)|1465540354|4042541 said:
some vendors will allow a couple of stones to be sent to an appraiser.
try it :)
Ask others for guidance :)
Garry is correct, many of the PriceScope vendors will send to recognized and respected appraisers for the cost of shipping to and from the appraiser. It will not allow you to game the system though, as these in house diamonds have already been looked at by the vendors and they know what they have.

What it will do though, is to allow you to look at more than one diamond at a time with YOUR eyes, to see which one YOU like best. That may not be "gaming" the system, but it sure will be affording you the pleasure of selecting the diamond that fits YOUR needs and allows you to know that YOU like it. You may well decide that spending a few % points more gets you a diamond that you like better than the cheaper one. Or you may decide that good enough is good enough. Either way, it will be your choice based on what your eyes tell you. That alone may be worth paying a fair price for the diamond rather than worrying for years about whether or not you gamed the system or got gamed by those who play the game every day.

Wink
 

The_Diamond_Connoisseur

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There are several vendors here who are well known for selling top notch stones. You can ask the crowd or do your research until you find one vendor you are comfortable with. From my experience its not worth selling one bad stone which can ruin your reputation so good vendors are looking to sell nice diamonds (at least that's what I always do). The alternative is buying from one of the sites that allows returns without charging for shipping, but I would always trust a professional dealers eyes.
 

Diamond_Hawk

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fofolala,

I always find it interesting that, in the end, the answer is often the same when it comes to selecting a diamond - "which one do you like the best?"

The education and comfort provided by PriceScope is in the run-up to that question - it is equipping you for the diamond selection process. If you know what is important to you (many of the questions from Garry you answered) and learn to interpret and understand the lab reports, the reflector images and the processes from different vendors with value added services, THEN the hunt begins. Many people start the hunt before being properly equipped - a sure way to get eaten by the predators.

We see this scenario everyday here on the forum:

Person A posts: "I have done research, have read the forum for awhile now and I have these 3 diamonds - which is the best?" They are then told that all 3 are poor, or number 2 is better than 1 and 3, but not really that great, etc...

Following a revelation that none of the diamonds they selected are top-tier performers, often they begin to walk backward through the process. OK, instead of those 3, how about this one? .... Hmm, No? Well (usually reluctantly at first)..OK... my budget is X, what can I get? Then... after a few recommendations..."Ummm, I really wanted a E VVS1 or higher".... then more discussion on cut vs. color or clarity 'over-kill', how important each C is, etc. etc. etc.

Though they didn't realize it, they weren't actually asking which of the 3 diamonds are the best, they are really wanting to feel like they found 'the one' - often just looking for validation of their efforts. When they don't get an answer they were expecting, there is often confusion (or anger). The problem was that they simply began the hunt before being properly equipped.

The prosumers here do all they can to help get the poster ready. Usually in the first several responses the entire process the consumer SHOULD follow is explained by someone (or multiple someones) on the forum.

My point being, it seems you know what is important to you (many of the questions from Garry you answered) hopefully you have learned to interpret and understand the lab reports, the reflector images, and the processes from different vendors with value added services - you are perfectly equipped to hit the plains.

With the knowledge you possess, you will establish your criteria. Now, find diamonds that meet your criteria. Between the PS diamond search and the affiliate vendors you have access to hundreds of thousands of diamonds all over the world. When you know the criteria that fits you, you will find multiple options. Use the knowledge you have to read lab reports and get reflector images. Take your time, find those that you would LOVE to see. Then, select 2 or 3 or 5, use the return policies of the vendors or (credit allowing) have them all shipped to a central location. At that time you will have 2 or 3 or 5 of the "best" diamonds in the world to inspect. Any of them are a good choice. ALL of them are 'mind-clean.' You can loupe them, inspect them through an ASET and Ideal-Scope, see them play in the light and find their personality. Once you see these vetted, criteria-driven, personally selected diamonds it is simple; "which one do you like the best?"

A properly equipped and educated hunter will find the exact quarry they are seeking and always come away with a prize, worthy of mounting.
 

SirGuy

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Diamond_Hawk|1465603700|4042827 said:
Though they didn't realize it, they weren't actually asking which of the 3 diamonds are the best, they are really wanting to feel like they found 'the one' - often just looking for validation of their efforts. When they don't get an answer they were expecting, there is often confusion (or anger). The problem was that they simply began the hunt before being properly equipped.
There are some great takeaways on this thread already, but this one was very well put...and very true much of the time! Nicely articulated. :wavey:
 

fofolala

Rough_Rock
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Messages
88
Diamond_Hawk|1465603700|4042827 said:
fofolala,

I always find it interesting that, in the end, the answer is often the same when it comes to selecting a diamond - "which one do you like the best?"

The education and comfort provided by PriceScope is in the run-up to that question - it is equipping you for the diamond selection process. If you know what is important to you (many of the questions from Garry you answered) and learn to interpret and understand the lab reports, the reflector images and the processes from different vendors with value added services, THEN the hunt begins. Many people start the hunt before being properly equipped - a sure way to get eaten by the predators.

We see this scenario everyday here on the forum:

Person A posts: "I have done research, have read the forum for awhile now and I have these 3 diamonds - which is the best?" They are then told that all 3 are poor, or number 2 is better than 1 and 3, but not really that great, etc...

Following a revelation that none of the diamonds they selected are top-tier performers, often they begin to walk backward through the process. OK, instead of those 3, how about this one? .... Hmm, No? Well (usually reluctantly at first)..OK... my budget is X, what can I get? Then... after a few recommendations..."Ummm, I really wanted a E VVS1 or higher".... then more discussion on cut vs. color or clarity 'over-kill', how important each C is, etc. etc. etc.

Though they didn't realize it, they weren't actually asking which of the 3 diamonds are the best, they are really wanting to feel like they found 'the one' - often just looking for validation of their efforts. When they don't get an answer they were expecting, there is often confusion (or anger). The problem was that they simply began the hunt before being properly equipped.

The prosumers here do all they can to help get the poster ready. Usually in the first several responses the entire process the consumer SHOULD follow is explained by someone (or multiple someones) on the forum.

My point being, it seems you know what is important to you (many of the questions from Garry you answered) hopefully you have learned to interpret and understand the lab reports, the reflector images, and the processes from different vendors with value added services - you are perfectly equipped to hit the plains.

With the knowledge you possess, you will establish your criteria. Now, find diamonds that meet your criteria. Between the PS diamond search and the affiliate vendors you have access to hundreds of thousands of diamonds all over the world. When you know the criteria that fits you, you will find multiple options. Use the knowledge you have to read lab reports and get reflector images. Take your time, find those that you would LOVE to see. Then, select 2 or 3 or 5, use the return policies of the vendors or (credit allowing) have them all shipped to a central location. At that time you will have 2 or 3 or 5 of the "best" diamonds in the world to inspect. Any of them are a good choice. ALL of them are 'mind-clean.' You can loupe them, inspect them through an ASET and Ideal-Scope, see them play in the light and find their personality. Once you see these vetted, criteria-driven, personally selected diamonds it is simple; "which one do you like the best?"

A properly equipped and educated hunter will find the exact quarry they are seeking and always come away with a prize, worthy of mounting.

This was fantastic. Thank you.
 
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